Siegried Sassoon captures the horrible ironies of war with his depictment of both sides -- humanizing the enemy.
Glory of Women
You love us when we're heroes, home on leave, Or wounded in a mentionable place. You worship decorations; you believe That chivalry redeems the war's disgrace. You make us shells. You listen with delight, By tales of dirt and danger fondly thrilled. You crown our distant ardours while we fight, And mourn our laurelled memories when we're killed. You can't believe that British troops 'retire' When hell's last horror breaks them, and they run, Trampling the terrible corpses--blind with blood. O German mother dreaming by the fire, While you are knitting socks to send your son His face is trodden deeper in the mud. Sassoon was so disgusted by the war that he tossed his medals into a river. His commanders had him committed to a mental asylum, for who would do such a thing, other than a mad man?Was he a prototype for Yossarian in Heller's "Catch 22"?